LOVE Island bosses are in talks with Women's Aid over the extent of "misogyny and controlling behaviour" shown in the villa.
The ITV show has faced huge backlash over the behaviour of certain contestants, with many viewers calling out early signs of abuse.
In recent episodes, Luca Bish accused partner Gemma Owen "flirting" with Billy Brown despite her insisting she wasn’t "entertaining" his advances.
Meanwhile, Davide Sanclimenti has repeatedly branded Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu a "liar" during explosive rows – despite kissing another girl in Casa Amor himself.
Dami Hope was also slammed for shouting that Summer Botwe was "fake" despite cheating on Indiyah Polack in Casa Amor with a three-way kiss.
Love Island bosses have since been in crunch talks with experts from Women's Aid, who insist "specific information on abusive relationships and an understanding of controlling behaviour in relationships" is missing from the show.
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Teresa Parker, head of communications and media relations at Women’s Aid, told Metro.co.uk: "At Women’s Aid we are being tagged into a stream of Twitter posts, with viewers of Love Island highlighting the misogyny and controlling behaviour being shown on screen.
"This is clearly more than talking about any individual contestants, and a programme based around the formation of romantic relationships must have guidelines on what behaviour is acceptable and unacceptable in those relationships.
"We are talking to ITV, and they have shared with us information on their inclusion training, but what appears to be missing is specific information on abusive relationships and an understanding of controlling behaviour in relationships."
Viewers have repeatedly called out the behaviour online with many admitting to turning off their screens as a result.
One person wrote on Twitter: "Not even enjoying Love Island this year anymore, having to listen to these toxic and misogynistic men.
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"I feel sorry for the girls in the villa this year and I feel sorry for all the people sat at home with boyfriends/husbands like these men."
Another said: "I’ve watched Love Island every season since season 2 and it’s safe to say this is the first time I’ve switched it off after how uncomfortable all these boys have made me feel.
"They are HORRIBLE, misogynistic, hypocritical and two faced and have ZERO respect for any of the girls."
Someone else commented: "After spending over a year in an abusive relationship I can see all the signs in them. Makes me sick."
It comes after Women's Aid was forced to issue a warning over the return of controversial contestant Adam Collard.
Geordie Adam, 26, caused chaos when he first entered the show in 2018 and was accused of gaslighting.
At the time, the domestic abuse charity released a statement around the personal trainers’ treatment of law student Rosie Williams, declaring there were “warning signs in his behaviour”.
He was then allowed back on the show.
ITV has insisted the welfare of its contestants is always its greatest priority.
It said: "We cannot stress highly enough how seriously we treat the emotional well-being of all of our Islanders.
"Welfare is always our greatest concern, and we have dedicated welfare producers and psychological support on hand at all times, who monitor and regularly speak to all of the Islanders in private and off camera.
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"Ahead of this series, contributors on the show were offered video training and guidance covering inclusive language around disability, sexuality, race and ethnicity, behaviours and microaggressions.
"We are always looking at how we expand and evolve on this training to ensure that all of our Islanders feel they are part of a safe and inclusive environment."
How you can get help
Women’s Aid has this advice for victims and their families:
- Always keep your phone nearby.
- Get in touch with charities for help, including the Women’s Aid live chat helpline and services such as SupportLine.
- If you are in danger, call 999.
- Familiarise yourself with the Silent Solution, reporting abuse without speaking down the phone, instead dialing “55”.
- Always keep some money on you, including change for a pay phone or bus fare.
- If you suspect your partner is about to attack you, try to go to a lower-risk area of the house – for example, where there is a way out and access to a telephone.
- Avoid the kitchen and garage, where there are likely to be knives or other weapons. Avoid rooms where you might become trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you might be shut into a cupboard or other small space.
If you are a victim of domestic abuse, SupportLine is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 6pm to 8pm on 01708 765200. The charity’s email support service is open weekdays and weekends during the crisis – [email protected]
Women’s Aid provides a live chat service – available weekdays from 8am-6pm and weekends 10am-6pm.
You can also call the freephone 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.
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